Sunday, May 15, 2011

No, I'm not Training for Something

Blog posts seem the best when they concisely address one issue. Two issues can pass as one issue if they are artfully integrated. Forgive me if I go beyond one issue and if their integration doesn't approach the level of artful.

Rain was in the forecast yesterday and the likelihood was greater as the day progressed. Priorities kept me from getting out, but at about 3:45 I managed to be ready to go. I like to do the climbs around Eldorado Springs on the weekend and as I drove west I had to turn the wipers on and could see that it was raining harder where I was headed. I pulled over for a couple of minutes to contemplate turning around but I went on, deciding to decide once I reached the trail head. At the trail head there was a definite steady rain and the area I was heading up to was obscured by low clouds. There were other vehicles in the lot so I figured if others can, I can. (I did encounter mountain bikers walking down with wheels so choked with mud that they din't rotate as they were dragged along) I knew the trails I was heading to that prohibit bikes would not be muddy.

I had invited Alex to join me, citing that 53 degrees was considered the ideal running temperature. Apparently to him, the temperature was more appropriate for seeking adventure in the virtual world. The first 3.3 miles of my chosen route is uphill with a 5.5 percent average grade. Usually, I feel a bit sluggish early on but after five days of rest and the cooling effects of the rain and the 39 degree temperature (I learned later), I cruised; it almost felt as if I were running on the level.

I recently wrote that I believed a long uphill with a long downhill was a harder workout than a series of short uphills and downhills of the same distance, slopes, and elapsed time. Yesterday's run caused me to consider temperature and it's impact on a workout and overall training. I believe that if you are going to run or race in the heat you need to train in it to acclimate your body, but as I discovered yesterday you may become impacted by the heat causing you to slow down and consequently you don't work the muscles as hard as you could if the temperature were cooler. My non-scientific realization is that even though one may be training to run in the heat, some workouts at cooler temperatures are probably in order for muscle building and conditioning and to accustom the legs to a faster turnover that might not be able to be maintained for the same duration on a hot day.

Although I keep trying to increase my mileage, endurance, speed, overall conditioning and state of health I don't make goals, nor do I consider anything I do as "training". This past Friday was the 13th and I pondered my position on luck. I believe that most things that people chalk up to luck, good or bad, really has to do with the positive or negative application of preparation, education, alertness, decision-making, anticipation, etc. Ironically, I got a flat tire on my motorcycle that day, but after analyzing details I believe it had to do with not sweeping the garage after a little project that left some debris on the floor, including a carpet tack.

Interestingly, with regard to my running, I do prepare, educate myself, analyze information and data, anticipate situations based on past experience and make prudent decisions, and I even make an increased effort to be more cautious when I become weary after two or three hours on a trail. So I find it curious that I avoid making specific goals and don't do any training to reach those goals that I don't make. I don't want to jinx myself.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm...if I'm not mistaken, you're using some irony here : )